When was the last time a brand just got you? They knew what you were looking for and gave you a clear path to get there without unnecessary clutter and other obstacles in your way? It was probably a while ago. When was the last time a brand made no impression at all? We’re willing to bet it was recently—if you remember them at all.
The fact is, a lot of brands don’t think about user experience beyond its core design-centric traits. And that’s a big problem—because user experience (UX) is everywhere in digital marketing. If you want your brand to convert like a well-oiled machine and leave people with a memorable experience that keeps them coming back for more, you need to embrace UX and integrate it into all aspects of your digital marketing.
What is UX: A Definition
UX stands for “user experience.” It means that you’re working to give your users the best possible experience. UX can be seen on websites and products alike. UX is a common element in web design. If your website is confusing, slow to load or just not working properly, chances are you’re not giving your users a good experience. A well-designed website will have UX baked into its structure and its content.
Why does user experience matter? It matters because it can turn your website into a conversion machine. The better your UX is, the easier it is for users to get the answers they’re looking for. You can create a website with amazing UX if you know some basic information about your users and their behavior. Good UX comes down to having the right data at your disposal and can be game-changers for your bottom line.
Good UX = Good SEO
Good user experience means good search engine optimization (SEO) and vice-versa. They go together like peanut butter and jelly, or a Zilla and their coffee. You can’t have one without the other. In the competitive marketplace, you need to have visibility for your brand and your website. This is where (SEO) comes in and really becomes indispensable.
SEO is how you get your website and brand in front of the right users. It’s not a set-and-forget deal, either. As Google continues to roll out core updates to its search algorithms, rankings are constantly being affected, which can directly impact how many people are finding your website. SEO needs to be strategy-driven and maintained to be fully effective for your brand and meet your goals.
SEO and UX intersect because Google rewards websites that have top-notch usability and informative content. The user is at the center of that Venn diagram and you need to work accordingly. Here are just a few ways the two work together:
- Keywords: Google rewards quality content, not keyword stuffing. Keep your website copy concise and watch your keyword density.
- Navigation: Navigation menus are easy for Google to crawl. Organized navigation will make it easy for users and for indexing.
- Bounce Rates: If your bounce rate is high, that may indicate something is wrong with your website’s content. Focus on lowering your bounce rate with informative content for true SEO.
This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means, but SEO and UX can’t be boxed in if you want results in your digital strategy.
A Tale of Two Landing Pages
Beyond your core website, UX is right at home in your conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategy. If you’re trying to understand why your conversion rate is so low on a landing page, poor UX could be the culprit.
Landing pages are meant to convert. They capture information from the user in exchange for an offer. So your goal as a marketer or business owner is simple: create a seamless experience on that landing page that entices users to convert.
Hotjar is an ideal tool for monitoring and understanding how users interact with a landing page. Through heatmaps, you can understand where users are and aren’t interacting with your page. With that information, you can A/B test new copy, color, design and form variations for landing pages to see what really hits with your users. SEMrush found they increased conversions by 25%, just by A/B testing a form. Not bad at all, in our book.
Pro tip: for the best A/B test results, change only one element at a time so you can pinpoint which ones are performing well versus which aren’t.
Don’t Be “Meh” — Your Content Could Be a Masterpiece
UX’s potential goes beyond just website design. UX and digital marketing are two peas in a pod, and bringing them together in your content strategy will only boost your overall efforts.
Content should always be informative to your reader and free of keyword-stuffing, as we pointed out earlier. Whatever content you’re creating, it should be laser-focused in on your user:
- Who are you trying to reach?
- What problem are you trying to solve?
- What are they looking for to solve their problem?
These three questions are the first steps to making quality, relevant content that helps your overall digital marketing efforts. When you write in the language of your audience and bring that content to them, you’re already in their “zone,” so to speak. It’s not enough to just write content, you need to get it to your users. If you’re sending your content to the wrong people or the wrong platform, you’re missing the mark completely.
UX AND MARKETING: HOW THEY WORK TOGETHER
You Have to Put Your User First
User experience is what should drive your marketing efforts. Marketing and UX bring users themselves to the center of all of your campaigns and strategies, not the stakeholders. If you can’t connect with your users and offer them a good experience, they won’t convert and become a customer.
Your stakeholders are important, but your customers are the ones you need to be thinking about the most. Stakeholders are the major decision-makers around you, but executing your marketing based on their preferences may not align with your users’ expectations and needs.
Here are some numbers to back that up: a whopping 68 percent of users will give up on a brand if they think the company doesn’t care about them. If you don’t create content for your users, or if you don’t tailor your marketing to their needs, you’re losing potential customers.
You need to take users’ needs into account when you approach your marketing strategies and campaigns. What do your users need? What kind of answers are they looking for? What stage of the buyers journey are they in? How can your business help them? Answer those questions with the user in the front of your mind.
That e-book you wrote could be pure poetry, but if you’re not answering the right questions or solving the right problem, it’s a moot point. Your users aren’t going to be interested in converting on your offer because it’s not what they’re looking for at that moment. Hone in on what your users are looking for, want and need—that’s what creates a good user experience. Then, go out there and give it to them.
Good UX Works for Customer Success
Good UX actually goes beyond the marketing team. When you sit down and really think about who your users are, you also know a lot more about your customers. Good user experience relies on you knowing your customers and having qualitative data. If you don’t have data, you don’t have good UX.
Having all of this insight can only help you create a better experience that touches all aspects of your business, from sales to marketing to customer success. In fact, 68 percent of B2B e-commerce sites use key UX functions for upselling and cross-selling. Upselling can bring in more revenue even after your user has initially converted, representing a bigger opportunity to think past a traditional sales funnel that ends at a closed deal. This goes to show you can use UX to your advantage no matter what department you’re in.
Creating good UX starts with making personas that reflect your customers. Knowing their challenges, goals and needs will help you build the best experience possible for your users. This is crucial research that can dictate your website’s structure and the kind of content you have on it. Knowing a few things about your users can tell you:
- How people are finding you on the internet (or if they’re finding you at all)
- What specific challenges they face that your business can help solve
- How effective your website is at communicating your unique value to your user
You can get this data by interviewing customers and analyzing your web traffic. This all ties back to making your users the number one priority when you market to them and sell to them. You’re catering to your user from the moment they first find your website to after they’ve converted and become a customer. UX is a holistic way to approach not just marketing, but sales and customer success as well.
When In Doubt, Test It Out
Digital marketing and user experience rely on refinement and A/B testing. As you further identify what makes your users click and convert, you can make better use of content and landing pages. If you want a positive user experience, you need to be user-centric in your thinking.
Just as UX designers will run usability tests to see how users interact with an interface, marketers can test out what resonates with users the most to convert. Test out buttons, copy and design on landing pages, CTAs and layout to see what your users interact with the most. But remember, test one at a time to get the clearest data.
Test, refine and analyze your results every chance you get. Your user experience will be better for it.
UX MARKETING INSIGHTS: WHAT CAN YOU DO?
So, what do we know about digital marketing and user experience? They don’t just go hand-in-hand. They’re joined at the hip. Relegating UX to design and keeping it in that box will limit what you can do with your overall digital marketing strategy and impact conversions. If you want your brand to be memorable and effective at attracting customers, you need to be user-centric and UX-obsessed.
User experience has the potential to unlock more growth opportunities for your entire business. It can be used across sales, marketing and customer support to create a conversion machine. Your website will help users find the information they’re looking for with compelling content and easy navigation. Good UX will also boost sales with upselling and cross-selling opportunities, going past a closed deal to continuously delight customers.
In the long run, putting UX first and integrating it into your digital marketing strategy will bring everything together. Your website, content and strategy will then be able to support each other and help you reach your goals. Don’t underestimate the power of good UX marketing. It may represent an investment, but the return it brings is well worth it.